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  1. #1
    Cadet
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    Default How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    I didn't see a "boat repair" section so I hope this is the right place to post. I have a small leak in my 14ft aluminum jon boat. I'm not certain where exactly the leak is, but I know it's very small... doesn't keep me from fishing, but I'd like to fix it before I try and sell it.

    I've seen repair kits that require heat and bond epoxy, is this okay to use? I know it's not as good as rivet repair or welding, but those to options are beyond my skill level.

    I thought the epoxy might be a good option for me because I cannot locate the precise area of leak, so perhaps I can just bond every rivet in that area.

    Bad idea?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Rich

  2. #2
    Admiral Barnacle_Bill's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    Put the plug in and start filling the boat with water until you see where it is coming out.
    "A manual is a cheap investment"
    Fair Winds and Following Seas
    Bill
    PTC USN ret

  3. #3
    Seaman Apprentice Str8OutTha9c's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    I just sat my two previous jon boats on stands and filled them up with water to find leaks.

    It's the first thing I did once I got them home.
    Luckily, one didn't have any leaks at all. lol
    As where the other one was leaking like crazy.

  4. #4
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    I had a leak in my 14' Starcraft that would ONLY leak from the outside it. It was tough to find but easy to fix.

    Re-buck (tighten) any rivets that do not appear seated. Some rivets look tight but can be turned by had (don't worry)...... replace any missing rivets and install new rivets with a pop rivet gun.

    Now the real solution......

    I used gluvit http://www.iboats.com/Boat_Parts_Acc....0--submit.y.0 and it is applied with a paint brush. It penetrates the seams and around the rivets...... takes over 24 hrs to dry but worth it. If a rivet is even not tight the gluvit will penetrate around it and seal. It is expensive stuff and may be available locally but the iboats price is fairly competitive.

    It can be used on the bottom of the hull and is normally used inside the hull. This will give you the ability to seal from both sides and you should never see a leak again.
    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
    Please, shop iboats first!!


  5. #5
    Cadet
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    okay! thanks for all the good tips. I will certainly look into "Gluvit", that might be the best option for immediate fixes.

    Never used a rivet gun, but might get one if I decide to keep my jon boat.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    If you invest in a rivet gun tool ...get a good one. One that has a rotating head and hopefully a brand name.
    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
    Please, shop iboats first!!


  7. #7
    Admiral Barnacle_Bill's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by pixelpusher40 View Post
    okay! thanks for all the good tips. I will certainly look into "Gluvit", that might be the best option for immediate fixes.

    Never used a rivet gun, but might get one if I decide to keep my jon boat.

    Thanks again!
    Pop rivet gun is very easy to use.
    "A manual is a cheap investment"
    Fair Winds and Following Seas
    Bill
    PTC USN ret

  8. #8
    Seaman Apprentice Str8OutTha9c's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhile View Post
    Pop rivet gun is very easy to use.
    Don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but are there any specific pop rivets to use?

    I have a what seems to be pretty good rivet gun that I bought at home depot for around $20.
    It brought rivets with it.
    It brought 4 different tips for different size rivets.
    And the head of it pivots around for easy acess riveting.

    I had a jon boat that had a crack along the bottom.
    I drilled out the two ends of the crack, and riveted a patch of aluminum sheeting on the inside and outside.
    It worked fine, but the rivets themselves were leaking in water.
    I bought some "liquid solder" sealer and dabbed it on the rivets and it was good for a few trips.
    It then began to leak again.

    So I just hit the area with a wire wheel then layed down some biaxial cloth and polyester resin over the area inside and out.

    It didn't look good, and I know it would eventually peel off, but it lasted for the two years that I owned the boat.
    I sold it afterwards and don't know how it went after that.

    I then bought another jon boat and luckly it only had to small holes on the transom.
    I ended up just buying two stainless bolts, washers, and nuts and put them in the holes and sealed with 5200 and never had any problems for the two years I had that.


    We're completely doing up a friends jon boat now.
    We constructed a front deck out of aluminum and covered the floor and sidewalls with 1/8 aluminum sheeting on the floors and deck, and .090 on the side walls.
    There are a about 18 holes on the floor that used to have rivets that held the live well on.
    What can we do to close them up?
    We were thinking of getting them welded shut (but it's proving to be a bit more expensive than we anticipated) or covering them with stainless screws.
    I just wonder if there will be any corosion problems with the stainless and aluminum.

  9. #9
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to find a leak in my Jon Boat?

    You really should have started a new thread. Aluminum rivets (closed end) are the best to use on aluminum. A regular rivet can be used and it it is installed and sealed using gluvit that normally works.

    Stainless Steel is not "supposed" to react with aluminum but due to the various grades and quality of stainless I would not risk it..... cheap stainless will corrode with aluminum.

    Close up those 18 holes with aluminum rivets and aluminum washers... use some gluvit on the rivets or at least use 3m5200 when you set them.
    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
    Please, shop iboats first!!


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